Stadiums Take A Sustainable Step In The Right Direction
Lincoln Financial Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles.
On average 68,240 people attend professional football games each year, making it one of the most popular sports in attendance. However, during a single season one stadium can consume enough electricity to power 225 households per month.
One can only imagine the drastic effects when the amount of energy used is multiplied by every other football stadium, let alone every other sports stadium. That being said some sports teams have recognized the importance of going green.
The Philadelphia Eagles have developed an entire environmental program called “Go Green.” The program encourages recycling, renewable energy and tree planting. In 2008, the Eagles produced 97 percent of their energy through renewable sources. Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles stadium, is ranked third on a list of top ten green stadiums, falling just behind The Washington Nationals Stadium and New York Mets Citi Field.
Citi Field was built of 95 perfect recycled steel, and features energy-efficient field lighting, hands-free faucets, waterless urinals and a green roof, as well as encouraging fans to take public transportation to the games. Built in 2009, the EPA estimates that the waterless urinals and hands-free faucets alone save up to 4 million gallons of water per year.
The Washington Nationals stadium has its own in-house recycling center. The water system is made to filter out small particles, such as peanut shells, before the water is moved into the storm water system. The team has reduced their water consumption by 30 percent and has become the first LEED-certified ballpark. The Washington Nationals’ new ballpark has earned LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
In New England, Gillette Stadium that serves as the home of the New England Patriots has the distinction of having one of the largest recreational water reuse systems. When the Town of Foxboro advised the private developers that constructed the stadium that they could not furnish enough water or treat the wastewater from the planned 68,000-seat stadium, it became apparent that the reuse of reclaimed water was the only answer.
Working closely with the Town, a program was developed to support the stadium engineers proposed to incorporate a water reclamation scheme into the design. The design allows wastewater from the stadium and the community to be collected, treated and reused for such purposes as toilet flushing, irrigation, cooling water and flushing of streets and sidewalks.
Professional teams are not the only ones recognizing the importance of going green. The University of Colorado at Boulder, Folsom Field, is also trying to go green through its program “Ralphie’s Green Stampede.” The goal of this program is to make Folsom Field a zero-waste stadium.
Spending 850 million dollars building a gigantic new stadium is not the most carbon footprint-friendly thing to do, however, these stadiums, along with others, are taking the necessary steps to help do their part.